Loophole Lets Carmichael Out

Motorcycle.com Staff
by Motorcycle.com Staff
AMA finds a reason to let Ricky Carmichael out of his leaded-fuel points suspension -- and rightly so, we think, as politically influenced rules such as lead content of fuel in four-strokes shouldn't determine the outcome of actual racing. So sayeth MO.

What say you, MOFOs? (Full press release follows.)



PICKERINGTON, Ohio (March 3, 2006) --The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) have announced a joint resolution to the points penalty imposed by the AMA on Ricky Carmichael following the February 11 San Diego round of the AMA Supercross Series and the FIM World Supercross GP.

In a post-race tech inspection, the fuel in Carmichael's motorcycle was found to contain more lead than allowed under a standard jointly adopted by both sanctioning bodies beginning with the 2004 racing season.

The AMA has enforced that fuel regulation in its AMA Supercross Series and AMA Motocross Championship for the past two years. However, this is the first time that testing has revealed a fuel violation affecting a competitor entered in both the AMA and FIM series, and while the fuel standard is the same in both rule books, the two sanctioning bodies call for different testing protocols.

The AMA initiated an investigation into the fuel requirement and testing protocols. It then became apparent that this difference in testing protocols would make consistent enforcement of this standard difficult, and the two sanctioning bodies have agreed to cooperate in the investigation, with the goal of creating a unified unleaded fuel standard and testing protocol for the 2007 season.

Meanwhile, the AMA and the FIM jointly agreed that, because of the disparity in testing protocols, a points penalty would be inappropriate in this case. As a result, the AMA has rescinded the 25-point penalty imposed on Carmichael in the AMA Supercross Series standings, and the FIM has said that it will not impose a points penalty in the World Supercross GP standings.

Both sanctioning bodies agreed, however, that a penalty is still appropriate for this fuel violation, and the decision was made to impose a $20,000 fine on the Suzuki team for which Carmichael rides. The AMA and the FIM will equitably donate the fine to the Asterisk Mobile Medical Center, which provides trackside medical support to riders at all AMA Supercross Series/FIM World Supercross GP series and AMA Motocross Championship events and to Riders for Health, a humanitarian organization working in Africa for 15 years reaching nearly 11 million people with regular health care workers riding motorcycles.

"It was clear that the differences in testing protocols raised serious problems for enforcement of this rule,'' said Steve Whitelock, AMA Motocross and Supercross Series manager.

"We think this is a fair and equitable resolution of a difficult situation" said Wolfgang Srb, President of the FIM Motocross Commission.

The AMA has announced that the fuel investigation will be conducted by the Southwest Research Institute's Fuel and Lubricant Lab, an independent consulting organization with nearly 60 years of experience. It is expected that teams as well as fuel suppliers, among others, will be interviewed in this process.

Get Motorcycle.com in your Inbox
Motorcycle.com Staff
Motorcycle.com Staff

Motorcycle.com presents an unrivaled combination of bike reviews and news written by industry experts

More by Motorcycle.com Staff

Join the conversation